Let Me Pray

 
 
that Wolf will come as memory pressed in a nest of dark feathers,
lifting eyes of soot.
Wolf will be ghosts of the body, ghosts
of a body’s hurt.
Wolf will not know the language of hurt       the weave
of a girl’s       of a girl’s       of my breath on stone
 
Wolf will speak only in snow and teeth
Will only tell
me a story rounding to curl
in sleep       or lapping dreams at sleep’s wet flames—
not a girl’s first house empty       her mother’s blue-rose body empty
on the red rug       brown bottles empty and a girl’s     my trembling skin
 
(my hands       and my hands       on her blue-rose sleeves
even after       years       shaking like stones)
 
Wolf will not know the mouth of my mother’s door
the lace of the path outside     the hard
ripple of starlings     in the air over the roof
will not know me     know my body’s swerve in fear     Wolf will not
 
tell—
 
O my body how
you ruin me     O Wolf
how you come to take its place
that you come again       into my skin
find me here     blue-rose snarl and fur       is mercy       and a fierce soft beating
 
 
 

 

Sally Rosen Kindred is the author of two books from Mayapple Press, Book of Asters and No Eden; her newest chapbook, Says the Forest to the Girl, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press. She has received two Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and has poems recent and forthcoming in The Gettysburg Review, Pleiades, Missouri Review’s poem-of-the-month web feature, and Kenyon Review Online.